Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson
WINTHROP H. HOPSON
Hopson, paternal grandfather of Dr. Winthrop Hartly Hopson, moved from Henry County, Virginia, to Christian county, Kentucky, in the year 1811. His wife was
Miss Sally Boyd, of Virginia.
were George, Morgan, Samuel, Joshua, Henry and Mildred. Dr. Samuel Hopson, the
third son, was the father of Dr. Winthrop H. Hopson. His mother was the fourth
daughter of Col. John Clark, who for many years was County and Circuit Clerk of
Christian county. Dr. Samuel and Miss Sally J. Clark were married in 1818. They
located near Garrettsburg. On April 26, 1823 Winthrop Hartley was born. When he
was two years of age his father removed to Montgomery county, Missouri.
Afterwards he settled in Fulton, Calloway county, and while living there
attended the medical college of Transylvania University in Lexington, and
graduated in 1825. At the age of eleven years his father sent him to Carrollton,
Ill., to attend the school of Mr. Hinton, a Presbyterian minister, where he
remained two years. Afterwards he spent two years in Jacksonville, Ill., in
school. It was during this formative period of his character he was under the
influence of such men as B. W. Stone, T. M. Allen,
Joel Hayden, Marcus Wills, Absalom Rice, Francis Palmer and Wm. Davis. In
Missouri these men were the pioneers of the greatest and grandest restoration
since the days of the Apostles. The reformation of Luther took the church from
creed to creed. The restoration preached by these men took men from human creeds
and dogmas to the Bible. Having grown to manhood under the teaching which fell
from the lips of these men, is it any wonder that he became the stern and
uncompromising advocate of truth which he has always been?
Dr. Hopson was
always a good student. He commenced the study of Latin at eight years of age,
under Prof. Dunlap, and at seventeen finished his Greek and Latin course under
Profs. Roach and Thomas, at Columbia College, out of which grew up the State
University, from which he afterwards received the degree of A.M. As soon as his
school days closed, his father had arranged for him to enter the law office of
Geyer & Bates, of St. Louis. At the same time, the brethren recognizing his
ability to become a useful preacher, were urging him to enter the ministry. His
father was not only proud of him, but ambitious that he should distinguish
himself at the bar. It cost him a severe struggle to disappoint his father, as
well as to silence the cravings of his own ambitions. On the one side were
worldly honor, distinction, pecuniary profits, while on the other neither
worldly glory nor emolument, but a hand to hand fight with contumely and
reproach, persecution and poverty. But few young men who enter the ministry
today can appreciate the sacrifice he was called upon to make. He decided to
cast his lot with the people of God, and commenced his long and successful
ministry at seventeen years of age. At the urgent request of his father, he
studied medicine and graduated at the medical department of Missouri University,
under Dr. McDowal, and practiced medicine six years, after which he devoted his
whole time to preaching.
in writing of him, says: "His discourses were methodically arranged, his
argument convincing, his style transparent, and he left a line of light behind
him as he advanced with his subject. His manner was bold and confident, without
being defiant, and his action was full of grace and dignity. His voice was
melodious and his person commanding. His exhortations, never boisterous, were
full of tenderness, and they deeply impressed upon the heart the lessons set
forth in the discourse. As a man, he was generous, kind-hearted and the soul of
honor. His superiority, as, I think, in the case with which he comprehended a
subject, and the facility with which he could distribute and arrange. In these
particulars he had no equal among his fellow-laborers."
Bro. Z. F.
Smith writes of him thus: "By nature he was remarkably endowed. His brain,
while not massive, was finely organized and supported by one of the most perfect
physiques I have ever known. He was an orator by nature, not so much in the
ostentation of rhetoric and the art of elocution, but in the natural simplicity
and grandeur of logic and illustration, and in the pathos and sentiment of
glowing words that touched the reason and the heart at the same time."
Grubbs says of him: "If I am asked what I regard as the special feature in
which the ministerial excellence of Dr. Hopson was manifested, my answer would
be, in his matchless power of expression, the varying charms and well-sustained
force of his diction, combined with the wonderful clearness with which he stated
his positions and set forth his reasons to support them."
G. A. Hoffman
writes of him: "There are few men who impart such a high conception of true
manhood. He was, first of all, a true man, and manifested the highest and most
Christ-like ideal I have seen among men. True to his friends, true to his
church, true to his conscience and true to his God."
married Miss Rebecca Parsons, daughter of James Parsons. She lived only a short
time. His second wife was Miss Caroline Grey, who after a brief married life
left him with a babe five months old, now Mrs. R. Lin Cave, of Georgia. In the
year 1850 he married Miss Ella Lord Chappel, who survives him. He was a devoted
son, an ideal husband and affectionate father and kind master.
His life work
embraced a period of 47 years, in five states, with only nine ministries. I find
a record of 5,000 additions, but there were many more not recorded. Thirty-eight
years of the time I was his constant companion.
by Mrs. Winthrop Hopson, Churches of Christ, by John T.
Brown, c.1904, pages 452-453
Another Sketch on W.H. Hopson's Life
Dr. Winthrop Hartley Hopson
Directions To The Grave Of Dr.
W.H. Hopson is buried in
the Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Nashville Tennessee. The
cemetery is located at 1101 Lebanon Pike, Southeast of downtown Nashville. Click over to
Mt. Olivet for map and location of the grave in the cemetery.
His remains rest in Section SG2 - Lot #97, and are located just across the
drive from his son-in-law, R. Lin Cave
Please click on here for a map.
View Larger Map
Dr. W.H. Hopson
April 26, 1823
Entered Into Rest
April 20, 1888
He Spent His Life Sharing Christ